Jong-nam murder trial: IGP rubbishes claim police withholding evidence

HASHINI KAVISHTRI KANNAN

PUTRAJAYA: The police have denied receiving applications from the defence lawyers of two women charged with the assassination of North Korean Kim Jong-nam for evidence on the case.

Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, said no applications were made either for CCTV footage of the murder, or investigation papers on four North Koreans also implicated in the crime, who are still at large.

"Did (the defence lawyers) make an official application? If they did, then we would have received it. Or maybe, the application didn't reach the right officer.

Khalid was responding to the suggestion that police have not been forthcoming with regard to evidence on the case.

"It is impossible that we did not produce evidence for (the defence team), because we have always cooperated with counsels, in terms of providing documents and evidence to them.

"We did not ‘single out’ this case, (deciding) that we are not going to cooperate. There must have been some kind of communication breakdown (with the defence)," he told reporters after delivering a keynote address entitled "Evolving Threats of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: The Malaysian Experience" here, today.

Lawyers for the two women accused of murdering Jong-nam reportedly told the magistrate’s court today that they have yet to receive relevant documents and CCTV footage to prepare their defence.

The lawyers also claimed that police failed to provide them with the investigation papers on the four North Koreans wanted by police.

Khalid explained that applications for evidence must go through the court, and documents can only be given with the approval of the Attorney-General.

"There are things we can reveal (to the public) and things we will only produce during trial. We can't be providing all the evidence now.

"The lawyers are trying to get the evidence through you, the media, to prepare for the defence," he added.

Khalid said there is no need for the lawyers to make baseless accusations against the police.

"We are not politicians, we don't politicise things. We are investigating a case of murder," he added.

Meanwhile, Khalid said police are still waiting for Pyongyang to hand over their four citizens who are now also wanted by Interpol.

"We know they are still in Pyongyang. We want the authorities to arrest them and send them over here," he added.